2023 NFL Draft Sleepers: Jalen McMillan highlights a stacked Washington WR group

Our latest list of 2023 NFL Draft sleepers is highlighted by Washington WR Jalen McMillan -- an emergent star in 2022. But who comes after him?

Which 2023 NFL Draft prospects have emerged on the radar as sleepers after the Week 3 college football slate? Here’s the latest batch of 2023 NFL Draft sleepers, which includes several offensive linemen, a couple dynamic receivers, and a dominant FCS playmaker.

2023 NFL Draft sleepers to watch in Week 4

Jalen McMillan, WR, Washington

The Washington Huskies legitimately have three wide receivers worth keeping tabs on in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle and beyond. Rome Odunze is a size/speed threat with the frame density to hang tough in close quarters. Ja’Lynn Polk is a long-striding catalyst with explosive ability in the deep range. But the most complete of all these receivers might be Jalen McMillan. Through three games, McMillan has been the most productive of the bunch, with 308 yards and three scores on 16 catches. As a third-year sophomore, it’s not a given he declares, but he’s smooth, explosive, and tracks the ball incredibly well.

Caleb Etienne, OT, Oklahoma State

In the summer, we listed Caleb Etienne as a breakout candidate at OT. Checking back in on the 6’7″, 325-pound redshirt junior, he’s looked good for the Cowboys three weeks in. Once a JUCO product, Etienne is now the starting left tackle for a Power Five program, and he’s showing off appealing NFL-quality traits. Etienne’s size and power have never been in question. He’s a massive blocker with a dominating wingspan. But this year, he’s carrying his weight better in pass protection. He’s covering ground and getting depth on his kick. His timing can still improve at times, but Etienne is a sleeper who may be on the rise.

Odieu Hilaire, WR, Bowling Green

There are always hidden gems buried deep in the queue at WR. In the 2023 NFL Draft cycle, Bowling Green’s Odieu Hilaire may be one of those players. After a slow first game, Hilaire has caught 11 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns over the past two weeks. At 6’0″, 180 pounds, the Alabama A&M transfer is visibly light. But he has a clearly dynamic skill set. And even with his separation ability, his most marketable quality may be his catching instincts. More than once this year, Hilaire has used absurd body control and unnatural contortion ability to convert on big-play opportunities.

Charles Turner, C, LSU

Being a junior, Charles Turner isn’t guaranteed to declare in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. Nonetheless, his play so far this year should at least put him on the radar. An easy athlete at 6’4″, 295 pounds, who’s quick off the snap, Turner took the full-time center role at LSU after Liam Shanahan’s departure. This comes after Turner saw playing time at both guard and tackle in 2021. Turner’s overarching positional versatility is a valuable quality, but his physical skill set visibly translates at the center position. With athleticism, natural leverage, and bouts of hand strength, Turner could be on his way up if he does well in SEC play.

Chase Lundt, OT, UConn

Overall, it was an outing to forget for UConn in Week 3. The Huskies were demolished in a 59-0 drubbing at the hands of Michigan. But a bright spot amidst the lopsided affair was right tackle Chase Lundt, who continues to flash NFL-quality traits. At 6’7″, Lundt has great size. He’s lean and carries his weight well, and that showed against Michigan. Lundt gets out in space very well and can easily cover ground in tight spaces. He also showed he could stymy the rush on his side with strong hands. He’s a very deep 2023 NFL Draft sleeper at this point, but there are tools worth investigating with Lundt.

Jo’quavious Marks, RB, Mississippi State

Most often known for its Air Raid system under Mike Leach, the Mississippi State may have an under-the-radar 2023 NFL Draft prospect at running back in Jo’quavious Marks. The junior is an established threat as a pass catcher. In 2021, he caught 83 passes for 502 yards and three scores, nearly breaking 1,000 yards from scrimmage. This year, he’s sustaining his efficiency in both phases, and he’s coming off a standout performance against LSU. At 5’10”, 210 pounds, Marks is dense and well-leveraged with legitimate speed. But his ability to shift from lateral to vertical in one cut is his most impressive trait.

Solomon Byrd, EDGE, USC

The brunt of USC’s success in 2022 has come on the offensive side of the ball with the additions of Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison. However, the Trojans also have talent on the defensive side of the ball, and Wyoming transfer Solomon Byrd is one 2023 NFL Draft prospect who’s quickly emerging. Though Byrd didn’t begin the year as a starter, he’s quickly taken over a first-team spot, managing three sacks and four TFLs already. Byrd has good size and length at 6’4″, 250 pounds, and while he can still refine his hand usage, his burst and hot motor make him a constant playmaking threat in the backfield.

Donovan Jennings, OT, South Florida

USF gave the Florida Gators a scare in Week 3. Offensively, they were able to generate more than a few successful plays, and a lot of credit goes to the group up front. USF’s scheme generated a lot of misdirection and conflict among defenders, but tackles Donovan Jennings and Demontrey Jacobs both did their part to elongate lanes. Jennings’ best reps, predictably, came in the passing game. He’s a smooth athlete with natural leverage, synergy, and active hands. He likely projects inside at the NFL level without elite length, but especially for pass-heavy teams, his instincts and alignment versatility hold value.

Demontrey Jacobs, OT, South Florida

That’s right — both USF tackles earn a spot on our 2023 NFL Draft sleepers list this week. While Jennings earned confidence with his pass protection, Demontrey Jacobs allured onlookers with his natural power and displacement capacity in the running game. Pass protection is still an area of needed improvement for Jacobs. While he had some good reps, the 6’6″, 315-pound blocker still struggles to maintain control at times, and his inside hand isn’t strong enough against counters. But Jacobs is big, surprisingly fleet-footed, and incredibly powerful with arms over 36″. He has upside worth keeping tabs on.

Griffin Hebert, TE, Louisiana Tech

Sometimes, if you’re looking for more sleepers at a certain position, just follow the production. At tight end, the production will lead you to Louisiana Tech’s Griffin Hebert, who currently leads his position group in yardage with 278 yards across three games. All of those yards, however, have come on just nine catches. Hebert is averaging 30.9 yards per catch, and this comes after games against Clemson and Missouri. At 6’3″, 229 pounds, he’s a legitimate seam-buster with the speed to be a vertical threat and pressure defensive backs in space. He may come in smaller than his listed size, but he’s undoubtedly dynamic.

2023 NFL Draft sleepers at the FCS level

Hunter Luepke, RB, North Dakota State

North Dakota State came within three points of knocking off FBS opponent Arizona, and it was all possible because of all-purpose running back Hunter Luepke. At 6’1″, 236 pounds, Luepke has the build of a gnarly fullback — and he can lead block and pave defenders out of space with the best of them. But Luepke’s Week 3 showing was a display of tough running, constant leg churn, and also natural receiving ability down the field. He was a true Swiss Army knife for the Bison (180 total yards and three total scores). The kind of versatility and toughness that Luepke offers is sure to be in demand.

Maxwell Anderson, S, Weber State

He’s only a junior, so this will likely be a stash for the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. But if you’re looking for an eligible FCS prospect who’s earned an extra look so far this season, Weber State’s Maxwell Anderson should be near the top of your list. Anderson is a bit underweight at 5’11”, 170 pounds, but he’s a versatile playmaker producing at a torrid pace this year. Through three games, Anderson has four interceptions and three deflections. He can play in the slot or as a safety farther down, and he has the route recognition and closing burst to capitalize on opportunities.


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